Cyprus Hands over EgyptAir Flight Hijacker to Egypt

Cyprus Hands over EgyptAir Flight Hijacker to Egypt

Cyprus justice authorities Sunday said they handed over to Egypt a 61-year old Egyptian man who hijacked and diverted in 2016 an EgyptAir flight from the city of Alexandria to Cyprus.

Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa was returned to his homeland after Egypt provided guarantees that it will provide international standard legal procedures for his trial, the justice ministry of the European island said.

Mostafa reportedly arrived at Cairo international airport on Saturday under tight security measures. The 61-year old man will be facing prosecution in the city of Alexandria after the prosecutor ordered his detention for 15 days in custody.

The Egyptian man in March 2016 seized a flight of the Egyptian national carrier with 72 people onboard including the crew. He hijacked the aircraft, wearing a fake subside bomb belt, and ordered it be flown to Cyprus’s Larnaca airport.

Mostafa freed the passengers and surrendered himself to Cyprus security authorities after requesting that all women in Egyptian prisons be liberated and demanding to see his ex-wife living in Cyprus.

During hearings over the past two years during his detention in Cyprus, Mostafa described himself as a liberal who wanted democracy for an Egyptian people subjected to “abductions, disappearance, illegal detention and extrajudicial killings”, AFP reports.

The hijacker filed an asylum application on the grounds he would not receive a fair trial in Egypt, but the Greek Cypriot supreme court dismissed his appeal against being sent home last year, the agency adds.

Cyprus authorities turned down the asylum request after flagging the Egyptian man as “perpetrator of serious crimes.”

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